For care organisations there are few situations more stressful than CQC or local authority visits. There’s never a lot of time to prepare and you always worry about your staff selecting the right information for the inspectors. But you can minimise your stress by getting materials for audits ready in advance, as part of your everyday processes. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be on the day the inspectors arrives at your doorstep.

The best tool for audit preparation: Mock surveys

One way you can ensure ongoing readiness for care audits is by using mock surveys, which can help you to know where you stand and provide structure for following up on deficiencies, as part of ongoing staff education. They not only offer care companies a means to prepare for an accreditation, but also give them an opportunity to proactively eliminate errors that can lead to poor scores. A mock survey will give you time to practice for the real thing, which is one of the best ways to identify areas of weakness and risk.

Those care companies that have mock surveys as part of their normal everyday operations are often the ones that have the best survey/ inspection outcomes, and get through the process with the least amount of stress. Additionally mock surveys can also help alleviate fears for the staff that get chosen for an interview/chat with the inspectors. When staff are prepared and know what to expect, an interview/chat looks a lot less intimidating.

10 Tips for making audit preparation part of your everyday routine

The most important thing you can do to prepare for audits is to make sure your company is vigilant each and every day. To be ready for an inspection means having an effective, ongoing quality assurance process in place, which is customer-focused as well as successful in evaluating and measuring the quality of care your company delivers.

Here are some tips to ensure that good survey preparation is part of your organization’s culture:

  1. Integrate review results into your ongoing staff education plan; don’t just accumulate data to display at meetings, actually do. something with the data you collect. Act on areas of concern and poor performance and outcomes.
  2. Use your data to improve deficiencies and spend the majority of time on your organisation’s biggest challenges.
  3. Prioritise the items that need the most attention and track corrected deficiencies, to be sure they don’t become problems again.
  4. Review the results of your last inspection / audit and, if applicable, be sure any plans of correction are still working so that you do not get any repeat deficiencies.
  5. Make routine, scheduled refresher training sessions part of your company’s normal routine. To help engage staff use quizzes, posters, newsletters, and role play to keep your meetings interesting.
  6. Have a dedicated resource devoted to reading and staying on top of your standards.
  7. Have champions that can help with internal auditing and analysing.
  8. Keep up to date on new legislation and changes to the way in which CQC and the Local Authority inspect.
  9. Regularly review and update your policies and procedures making sure you cascade anything new to staff – this can be a simple newsletter in their payslip or via an email to all staff.
  10. Most of all don’t do nothing.

Here at DJD Consultants we can plan, setup and run mock surveys and audits for you. If you’d like to learn more about what we do and how we can help then please give us a call, visit our website or contact us via our contact page.

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